50th event draws stars

By Iain Hyndman

The cream of New Zealand's shearers will line up to compete in this year's Rangitikei Shearing Sports event on Saturday.

Big names like David Fagan, John Kirkpatrick, Digger Balme, Rowland Smith, Adam Brausch, Mark Grainger, Cam Fergusson and Gavin Mutch have confirmed their attendance at the 50th anniversary shears.

The annual event was launched in January 1963, when two members of the Young Farmers Club, the late Peter Coleman and Jim Norris, borrowed a portable shearing stand from Feilding. Around 30 open and intermediate shearers competed in the first Marton Shearing Competition.

The open class winner now receives the T and M Martyn North Island Championship Shield, while local shearers compete for several trophies.

The Peter Coleman Memorial Trophy goes to the shearer with the best quality points in the heats for all grades. The Betty Rakatairi Trophy is for the cleanest local pen in the heats.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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